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Blood, Sweat, and (Idol) Tears

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They split up after that, the whole walk to their bus stop Hinata’s alternating between reiterating that this is the chance of a lifetime and begging Kageyama over and over to please talk to his mom. 

Kageyama doesn’t know why Hinata’s stressing so much about his mom. She’s amendable and has always been fair. It’s Kageyama’s dad , who still insists on parenting from afar, that poses more of a problem.

He doesn’t bring that up in fear of jinxing anything, just nods silently as he steps onto the bus. For once Hinata doesn’t press him for a response. Oddly enough the whole bus ride passes by in contemplative silence. 

Even weirder--he surprises Kageyama with a hug once they make it to his stop. And it’s not one of the purposefully obnoxious hugs Hinata likes to spring when he’s all sweaty because he knows how much Kageyama hates the feeling of sticky skin on him, there’s genuine emotion behind it as toned arms squeezing him tightly against the middle. 

Before Kageyama can even think to pry him off, Hinata’s gone, darting off the bus to tell his folks the good news no doubt. Confused-- and for some reason-- a little embarrassed, Kageyama can do nothing but watch his friend become just a dot of color as he rushes home. 

“Dumbass,” Kageyama mutters to himself with a shake of his head. But he’s smiling...just a bit.

 

Xx



Twenty minutes later Kageyama’s unlocking the door to his house, calling out a “I’m home” as he kicks off his shoes, forgoing slippers to pad around barefoot instead. The cherry wood flooring is perhaps Kageyama’s favorite part about the house.

His mother always nags that he’s going to catch a cold from the cold flooring--or worse--step on a 500 year old rusted nail (to which Kageyama always sighs). But Kageyama is gonna enjoy these wood floors even if it kills him, and he can tell his mother takes pride in how much he enjoys their new home.

It was a major downsize, and city-living means their yard is now just a fraction of what it used to be, but it’s quaint… In a good way. 

Quaint comes in handy because Kageyama can hear the sound of a pot bubbling over in the kitchen clearly from where he stands in the entranceway. Which means his mother is home from work and has, yet again, started dinner then promptly passed the fuck out with everything still going.

“And she calls me spacey,” Kageyama mutters to himself, shaking his head as he makes his way to the kitchen to keep what looks like a kind of curry from burning the whole house down.

Crisis averted, Kageyama marches down the short hallway towards the bedrooms to peek into his mother’s room. Like usual he finds her sprawled out on top of her bed, work clothes still on and eyes shut.

“Must have been a long day,” he says, just loud enough to cause her to stir. Acting more like seven year old Kageyama rather than eighteen year old Kageyama, he climbs into her bed to lay draped over her hip, “You fell asleep with the stove on. Again. ” 

She grumbles sleepily when Kageyama’s bony elbow digs into her thigh before sighing out an affirmative. “Long doesn’t even cut it. The paperwork to open up another Beta/Omega shelter has been killing me. My eyes aren’t what they used to be Tobio-chan, there’s only so much tiny print I can read--Oh! The stove!” 

“It’s fine, it’s fine. I already turned everything off. Relax. You’re such a bad pillow,” Kageyama complains, narrowly avoiding getting a knee to the face in the midst of his mother’s panic. 

He can practically feel the suspicious raise of her eyebrow. “And what is the special occasion to make my favorite son bless me with both his presence and expertise in the kitchen?”

“I’m your only son” Kageyama corrects. “And what? Can’t I help my poor ailing mother? I know it’s not easy to be old .” The dreaded “o-word” gets Kageyama a good, firm pinch on his earlobe. 

“Just because you are my only son that does not automatically mean you are my favorite. But how has the apple of my eye been today?”

“Well…your only son might have been scouted today.”

This time when his mother sits up in surprise, Kageyama can do nothing to stop it and nearly goes tumbling to the floor. “Scouted?” she echoes, eyes wide and glittering with excitement. “By a dance troupe?” 

Kageyama snorts. “I wish--but close. It was an entertainment company--for idols. Ukai-san’s worked with them before and he recommended me and Hinata apparently.”  

“Idol? Now this is a new development… I’m all for it--as long as everything’s reputable--but getting your father’s approval might be difficult.” She cups her chin, deep in thought, already formulating a plan to counteract her ex husband’s incessant need to be the over traditional and unyielding alpha that drives everyone crazy.

Just the thought of dealing with that again sours Kageyama’s mood. “You don’t have to mention this to him. I’m practically an adult.”

“Practically being the key word. You and I both know omegas aren’t considered legal adults until they’re 20. And as such I can’t just ship you out to an entertainment company without the approval of both parents ,” she gives Kageyama a tiny, supportive smile. “It shouldn’t be a problem, but your father’s not the biggest fan of the idol life... For whatever reason…”

“He isn’t a fan of anything,” Kageyama grumps, falling back to land on a pillow with a thump. 

It’s important to note that his mother doesn’t dispute the statement, but she does nudge Kageyama disapprovingly. “Enough with the dramatics. Do you want to call him now or later?”

“Never.” 

“Now it is!” 

Still staring up at the ceiling, Kageyama prays to whoever listening that they catch his father’s voicemail rather than the man himself. For the briefest of moments it feels like Lady Luck is on his side, but then Kageyama hears the dreaded voice on the other end. 

The call isn’t on speaker, but it’s easy enough to infer the flow of conversation. Yes, the two of them are doing fine. No, they haven’t starved to death because they couldn’t open a stubborn jar. No, Kageyama hasn’t found a mate and no he’s not pregnant either. All of the usual questions.

Finally Kageyama’s mother breaches the real reason for the call, and Kageyama can’t help but to hold his breath in anticipation. There’s a pregnant moment of silence, and then the arguing starts.

Arguing may be too strong of a word considering neither of his parents are yellers by any means, but there is clear frustration as they talk in hushed tones, making an effort to dispute over their conflicting styles of parenting without Kageyama hearing. Even though he’s the literal topic of discussion.

Kageyama sighs. This is what he gets for trying to be a good son and actually ask for parental consent before he did something. He really should’ve just auditioned without telling them, and dealt with the aftermath later if he got accepted. 

As the old saying goes: It’s easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. 

With his mind made up, Kageyama sits up to escape to the solitude of his room, only to have the phone shoved under his nose. “Your father would like to talk to you,” his mother informs him, tone icy. She gives him a sympathetic look but doesn’t stop pressing the phone on him,  Kageyama shaking his head all the while.

Eventually he has to relent--as stubborn Kageyama is his mother can match it (guess who he got it from, ha)--and takes the phone, putting it on speaker. “Hello?” he answers, with all of the disdain stored in his being. And newsflash: there is a lot.

“Tobio….” comes the disapproving voice. “What’s this about an audition? When did this happen?”

“It was a...recent development,” Kageyama admits, shoulders hunching defensively. It’s been years since he’s lived with both his parents, and yet he still finds himself hyper-sensitive of any kind of criticism from his father. Kageyama wishes he could just flip a switch and stop caring.

Doubly so when his father sighs in the way that means an Interrogation™ is on the way.

“A recent development? Do you even understand how big a deal this is? Idols give up all of their free time to work. What about school?”

“I’d finish high school, obviously…” Duh, Kageyama tacks on mentally.

“And what about college?” His father presses on, still unsatisfied, “Last time I checked you said  you wanted to be a dance major. That may be a waste of money, but you’d at least have a degree under your belt.”

Kageyama’s eyes dart to his mother, then down to the way her hand twitches with thinly veiled anger. Glad he’s not the only one. “Coach Ukai makes money and he has a dance degree,” he points out innocently. 

“That doesn’t answer the question. Do you have a back up plan? Do you know how many of these idol groups never make it off the ground and end up with nothing but debt?”

“Um...was I supposed to? It’s just an audition, I’m not signing any contracts.”

His father sighs, like the whole conversation is beneath him “You never change, Tobio. Diving into everything without a second thought. If you aren’t taking the audition seriously why should we trust you to take anything else after the audition seriously? Don’t expect me and your mother to spend a fortune bailing you of whatever deplorable company you get stuck in. Or do you just plan on selling yourself like all the other reckless breeders--”

Before Kageyama can do or say anything his mother is snatching back the phone, expression deadly furious. She points to the door with a firm finger, a clear sign that Kageyama should evacuate the premises so she can flay her ex-husband alive.

And evacuate he does, closing the door behind him. Kageyama can tell this isn’t going to be one of those funny arguments like the time his father called, irate, after she’d been a guest of honor at the adoption of a rare kind of lizard at the Ueno Zoo and named one of the bugs the zookeeper fed the thing Haruka after Kageyama’s father. 

Classic divorced parent pettiness. And it never gets old. This time though, there no comedy to be when found when his mother practically hisses into the receiver, “Don’t you dare talk to my son like that ever again or, so help me god, I will kill you and that bimbo you’re fucking.”

“That’s our son, Michiko. I don’t want him to end up uneducated, unmated, and pregnant by some alpha producer--” 

The rest of the statement he can’t hear, and Kageyama is thankful for it. He books it to the relative safety of his room, ready to pretend the latter half of his day hasn’t happened. (And that the pressure behind his eyelids is just a hunger headache). 

Very first thing Kageyama does is close the door--indulging in the fact that he can after 12 years of being unable to when living with his father--then promptly dives into his bed, bouncing a bit from impact. 

He takes a moment to just lay there face down in his pillows, soaking in the comfort and solitude and quiet. Hinata swears up and down Kageyama’s place is way too under-decorated. (A very biased opinion considering Hinata, with Kageyama’s help, repaints the walls in his room every two years and will tack up any object of sentimental value on his wall. Posters, Natsu’s doodles, old notes Kageyama has passed him in class, handfuls of those grainy photostrips taken in mall photobooths, you name it.)

Kageyama may not have a million and three memorabilias plastered around the place but he feels that the light blue walls represent him well. So does the collection of framed posters above his (messy) desk, the awards and trophies and singular Sailor Moon figurine on his bookshelf. 

The only thing non-Kageyaman is the Renaissance cherub trim on the walls, a remnant from the previous owner of the room. At first Kageyama hated them, though as time went on he’s become fond of the chubby-cheeked angels--and it makes him feel connected to the previous owner of the room. 

Most importantly his room, and the privacy it allows him, is the perfect place for Kageyama to complain about his shithead of a father. “Uneducated, unmated, and pregnant,” he mocks, to himself. “Fucking asshole.” They’ve had all these laws implemented to bridge the social gap between the genders, and yet alphas still think every omega is stupid enough to get knocked up by whoever asks.

Kageyama prides himself on being a confident omega. It’s hard not to be, he supposes, being born in the generation that has no recollection of the Old Ways. Times where betas and omegas were locked out of most high paying jobs (unless, of course, they knew somebody who knew somebody) and alpha hormones were left unchecked. For better or for worse. 

He can’t believe the world used to be that barbaric: omegas being seen as property, and betas just hapless lackeys or back up breeders. Kageyama pulls a face at the dreaded b-word. It’s something he heard in regards to his kind a few more times than he’d like. 

Still, the worst Kageyama’s experienced has been an off color joke, an alpha getting too flirty, and the occasional attempt at intimidation. He’s never been actually scared of being whisked away to be the bride of some CEO’s son against his will. 

The world has changed, right? Surely his father was exaggerating; idols aren’t shacking up and selling themselves just to stay employed. With a curious hum, he pulls his knees up to his chest, unlocking his phone and tapping to the browser so that he can do some research. 

And it doesn’t take long for Kageyama to find exactly what he didn’t want to see.

 

“Idol Group Disbands After Members Allegedly Conceive Child Together”

“Omega Trafficking Rampant in the Idol Industry?”

“Trainees Open Up on Sexual Harassment Endured in the Company”

“Has the Over-Saturated Idol Market Opened Easier Avenues for Sexual Misconduct in the Industry?”

 

With each headline the fluttery optimistic high he’s been riding ever since he’s been asked to audition fades away to make room for apprehension. “Maybe it’s just clickbait…..” Kageyama mutters to himself, just a touch frantically. He clicks the third article first, hoping that the actual news isn't as bad as he’s assuming. 

In the end it’s much worse.  Each of the five interviewed trainees go into the sordid details of being at the mercy of fucked up management, and with each new horror Kageyama is more and more terrified of what he might be getting into. 

Uneducated. Unmated. Pregnant echo relentlessly in his head, sounding more and more like a dark prophecy each time. Kageyama’s saved from a full-on panicked spiral by a knock on the door. 

“Tobio can I come in?”

“I’m not forgiving him,” Kageyama huffs. “But yes you can come in.”

His mother slips into the room, smiling somewhat. “For the record I wasn’t going to ask you to. I did want to apologize to you though…No one should ever talk to you that way. I should’ve just blackmailed him into giving his consent.”

“You should’ve just never married him in the first place--ow!” Yet again, Kageyama’s wiggling away from those pinching fingers, face scrunched up in overexaggerated pain. “What? It’s true!”

“It is not. If I had never gotten married, then I wouldn’t have had you.” She places her hands on Kageyama’s face, squishing his cheeks lovingly. My darling, dramatic, and moody son. Who’s gonna be a world famous idol and buy his loving mother a fancy new home in the countryside with a great, big garden and no neighbors for miles so she never has to deal with nosey grannies ever again.”

Kageyama tries to pull away, but is eventually reeled into a bone crushing hug. “If I’m dramatic then what are you?... But in all honesty I don't know if I want to audition now. It feels like more trouble than it’s worth…” Which isn’t a lie.

His mother pulls back in an instant, eyes narrowed as she searches Kageyama’s face. “This isn’t because of what your father said is it? Because he’s just a stupid, traditional--”

“No, no, no,” it’s not about him. Which might be a bit of a lie… “It’s just.....being an idol isn’t something I’ve ever thought about seriously. honestly,” Kageyama admits. “That’s really Shöyö’s dream...I just know I want to dance for the rest of my life. I don’t know for sure beyond that...I was just gonna see what happened.”

For a long moment his mother stares at him, gaze appraising. Eventually she must come to some internal conclusion, because she asks, “And you weren’t just doing this to say close to Shöyö-kun were you?”

Immediately Kageyama’s protesting with a vehement “ No! ” Mostly because this is a conversation they’ve had more than once, thanks to Hinata dumbly bringing up his and Kageyama’s running joke about getting married to each other to appease their parents if they can’t find anyone else, while actually in the presence of their parents.

Hinata’s family, as in love with Kageyama as they are, thought the idea of the ever-bickering duo locked in eternal matrimony nothing but hilarious, while Kageyama’s mom had been oddly serious about the whole thing. 

Maybe she was just starting to piece together all of Hinata’s last minute sleepovers at their place--specifically the distinct absence of a guest futon. 

“Just because me and Sho are friends ,” Kageyama’s heavy emphasis on the word makes the corners of his mother’s eyes twitch upwards with a restrained smile. “That doesn’t mean I’m following him everywhere. We’re not mated, I can do my own thing with or without him--or anyone else for that matter.” 

“I just wanted to know how serious you are about this...Nothing in life worth having is easy, especially not becoming an idol. I don’t want you to start something you aren’t serious about finishing. Especially because of what you are--what we are. People are gonna want things from you, Tobio-chan; treat you differently because they think it’s okay.” 

Against his will, Kageyama remembers the bastard from the mall. The way he expected Kageyama to spread his legs at the mere whiff of his gross alpha scent, “I know...”

Thankfully his mother doesn’t ask--not yet anyway--just smiles sadly. “The Old Ways...things are better for omegas these days, but there will always be people that think there are places where we don’t belong. Just know you have so many different options to choose from, regardless of what anyone else has to say about it. You don’t have to audition if you don’t want to, and I’ll support you through anything--as long as it’s legal.”

“Of course,” Kageyama easily agrees.

“And as long as you give it your best.”

“Yes.”

“Because you know you have that cousin in Kyoto that’s always bouncing from job to job--”

Mom!

She laughs, loudly and obnoxiously, at Kageyama’s outburst. “Ah, Tobio-chan, you’re no fun. But I mean it, I’ll support you through anything.”

Kageyama has the sudden--and embarrassing--urge to wrap his arms around his mother and never let go. He refrains if only because he knows she would promptly try and crush all of his internal organs with her love, and Kageyama isn’t in the mood for a hug induced hospital trip. 

He settles with the most genuine smile and thank you he knows how to give. His mother rewards him with a loving pat on the cheek, a sign that his appreciation has come through loud and clear. 



Xx



Kageyama doesn’t realize he’s forgotten to do the very thing he promised Hinata (i.e. keeping him posted on the situation with his parents) until he finds himself being hunted down the shrimp himself after their last class. 

Hinata practically leaps upon him. Coming so close he’s right under Kageyama’s nose and the taller has to cross his eyes a bit to make eye contact. “What?” he asks, leaning away as far as he can. 

“What do you think I want, Bakageyama? Homework answers?” Hinata snaps, puffing up like an angry bird.

It’s clear as day Hinata’s patience is wearing thin, but Kageyama still can’t help being a little shit, dodging around the one topic Hinata really cares about right now. “It’s not like you even do your homework,” he deflects, side-stepping around the other to begin the trek out of the classroom building

“Neither do you,” Hinata rebuffs, hurrying to fall in step. “You just suck dick for answers.”

“I hate you.”

“No you don’t. But who cares about all of the dicks you suck. What did your mom say? Tell me! Tell me! Tell me!”

“She was...” Kageyama trails off, eyes drifting over to watch the pair of gym shorts (three good guesses as to who they belong to) stuck in a nearby tree flap in the breeze. “Surprised to say the least.”

Hinata makes an inquisitive noise, “Good surprised or bad surprised?” 

“Um? Neutral? Dad was, well, bad surprised. Said a bunch of stuff about how all omega trainees will end up spreading their legs to stay employed. And then practically forbade me from auditioning.”

Even though he’s sparing most of the details, Hinata knows his family dynamic well enough to fill in the blanks. Which is why he steps in front of Kageyama, making them both pause near the bike racks. “So….Are you gonna audition or not?”

Kageyama makes a face, “Last time I checked ‘forbade’ meant...forbade…” He makes an even uglier face when Hinata laughs at his lame explanation. 

“Why must you make everything so complicated, Bakageyama? It’s just--When do you do as you’re told? Forbidden or not, that’s never stopped you before!”

Fair point. 

“I...I don’t think I will,” Kageyama admits with a sigh. “I’m worried....worried that auditioning would cause my mom trouble, you know? ‘Til I start working we still rely on his blood money.”

At the last second he chickens out of telling Hinata about his real fear about ending up as some company breeder. Not that his excuse is a total lie, just not his primary concern at the moment. 

He doesn’t quite understand why he’s so reluctant to come clean. It’s not like Hinata could ever judge him considering how many times he’s called Kageyama at the most random times of the night with some existential fear. 

But Kageyama is a very prideful person, and as understanding as Hinata has always been when it comes to gender things, Kageyama’s too stubborn to open up about the more vulnerable parts of himself. 

Hinata pauses, thinking. Silently he unlocks his bike and wheels it close. Kageyama can see the gears turning in Hinata’s head and it makes Kageyama want to squirm. As ditzy and ridiculous as Hinata can be most of the time, he can also be incredibly sharp when he wants to be. 

And he only ever seems to want to be when Kageyama’s trying to hide something from him. 

“You heard about that one pregnant idol, didn’t you?”

Kageyama shouldn’t be shocked--but he is. “H-how’d you know?” he asks, eyes wide. 

“I don’t live under a rock,” Hinata rolls his eyes. “That was the only thing being talked about for weeks when it happened. And then all that other awful stuff was brought to light...It was impossible to not know about it.”

“Well, excuse me for being slow.” Kageyama slumps, overcome with a weird mix of embarrassment and relief that his worries are now out in the open.

Before Kageyama can fully retreat into his shell, Hinata’s hand lands on his elbow, squeezing encouragingly, “You know we’d never let anything like that happen to you right?” The look in his brown eyes is so genuine, Kageyama’s heart would skip a beat if he wasn’t so intimately acquainted with the side of Hinata that’s utterly stupid.

“I know,” and Kageyama means it. “But I’m still not auditioning.”

“Oh come on! Why not? You have nothing to worry about!”

“That’s not for you to decide,” Kageyama snaps, bristling like an angry cat. 

Hinata looks poised to argue back, but a look of understanding quickly comes over him. “I--you’re right. Sorry. I’ll just pass the audition with flying colors and hire you as my choreographer. We’ll split the profits 80/20.”

Kageyama can’t help but to snort out a laugh, heavy tension gone in an instant. Another perk of having such an idiot as a best friend he supposes. “Who says I would ever wanna work with you?” Silence. ”Make it 60/40.”

“60/35. Take it or leave it.” 

“That doesn’t even add up to 100, idiot.”

“You know I have a D in Advanced Math,” Hinata grumbles dismissively, slinging a leg over to sit on his bike. “Now are you gonna help me choreograph my audition performance or not?”

It’s Kageyama’s turn to roll his eyes. “Of course I’ll help.”

“Good. Now hop on,” he gestures to the handlebars. “I’m hungry.”



Xx



“First thing you need when choreographing a routine is the right music,” Ukai says, matter-of-factly. He’s not looking at them, too busy typing at the laptop perched precariously on the desk he has set up in the corner of the room. It’s almost always covered in papers and sticky notes and schedules and the like. Kageyama’s kinda afraid of going near the thing, honestly. “Auditions for companies are usually pretty lax, so don’t worry about doin’ anythin’ fancy. They ain’t expecting Beethoven’s Symphony.”

Hinata nods so hard it’s a surprise his head doesn’t fly off. To describe him as enthusiastic would be an understatement. “Music. Right. I’ve been thinking about what song I wanted to use lately.” 

“Oh?” Ukai glances up at him, impressed, “Alright, plug it in. Let’s hear it.” The controls for the speaker on their current side of the studio is situated under Ukai’s desk, and he unplugs his phone from the aux cord to hold it towards Hinata.

“Now?” Hinata squeaks? The shrimp glances at the few groups of people sitting around on the floor, probably trying to choose their own music, and paying them no attention. He slides in close to whisper conspiratorially “But what if someone hears?” 

Kageyama can’t help but scoff where he stands off to the side. “Oh, he thinks someone’s gonna steal his taste in old ass music. How funny.”

“My taste in music is not old !” Hinata yells, immediately jumping on the defensive. “This just means a lot to me, okay? And I don’t want anything to mess it up.”

Kageyama blinks, taken aback. He takes note of the tension in his friend’s shoulders, and immediately feels bad. “Nothing’s gonna go wrong,” Kageyama reassures, bringing a hand up to rest on the back of Hinata’s neck and squeezing a little. 

The gesture is meant as a silent apology, and Kageyama knows it’s accepted when he gets a small, albeit wobbly, smile in return. 

Ukai’s expression hasn’t changed much, but his eyes glint with pride as he watches the two of them make up with the natural ease of close friends. “You don’t have to worry about someone else having the same music. That’s the point of these consultations ‘nd anyone that’s auditioning’ll have me ‘nd Takeda to help. Can’t have ya’ll messing up my good name.” 

“I’m just....” Hinata closes his eyes on a deep breath, “Nervous.” 

“Obviously,” and Kageyama gets an elbow in his side for his quip. 

“I’d be less surprised if u weren’t nervous,” Ukai laughs. By now they’ve all become accustomed to the way Hinata works himself up into a panic before a performance (or even any slightly stressful situation). “But you’ve made it through nerves before. You’ll do it again.” 

Ukai’s words seem to do the trick, because Hinata finally stops shrinking in on himself and plugs in his phone into the aux cord. He taps around at a few things until an upbeat, kind of retro--just like Kageyama predicted--80s jazz pop song begins to pay. 

Much like Hinata, the song is energetic from start to finish, never slowing down in its tempo until the last notes are fading out three minutes later. “It sounds like you,” Kageyama muses, “Ah..I mean it suits you, I guess.” 

His friend beams, “You think so? I’ve already been working on some choreo--”

Kageyama’s brows raise, “Where’s this can-do attitude when it comes to cleaning your room?” 

“It’s not like your room is clean either!” Hinata yells, promptly throwing himself at Kageyama and sending them both to the floor. As small as Hinata is, he’s nothing but muscle and he’s strong

More than strong enough to not be thrown off when the wriggling omega beneath him begins to struggle to be free from Hinata’s extra weight. They’ve wrestled like this more than once and Kageyama knows that once he’s pinned there’s either a wet willy headed his way or even worse: Hinata trying to kiss him. 

Either way saliva will be involved and Kageyama does not want it. 

Ukai pays them no mind. He goes back to typing up whatever the hell he was working on without a spare glance in their direction. Even when Kageyama begins screaming bloody murder, he gets no sympathy. 

“Get off me, dumbass!” 

“No! You will pay with kisses Bakageyama!” Hinata bats away Kageyama’s flailing hands, giggling evilly all the while. He then begins to lean down, puckering his lips and making obnoxious kissy noises. 

Kageyama tilts his head back as a last means of protection, but he’s laughing too. At this angle Hinata looks like the ugliest puckerfish alive. “You look so ugly right now,” he points out. 

Hinata squawks, indignant, but before he can exact revenge he’s distracted by the telltale sound of sneakers against the waxed wood floors coming closer. As he looks up, his face immediately falls. 

Ah ...” Ukai breathes, in the kind of way that actually says oh shit without actually saying it. 

Thoroughly intrigued, Kageyama tilts his head all~ the way back until his forehead is touching the cold floor. The first thing that he notices are shoes, and even upside down he recognizes them as belonging to Kindaichi.

Even if Kageyama hadn’t seen the same pair of white and blue high-top adidas sneakers nearly everyday for the past two years, he’d have no problem placing the heavy pheromones pumping into the air. 

It hurts his eyes to try and look up at Kindaichi’s face, but he must be looking even more pissed than usual because Hinata makes this weird, terrified yelp. The redhead tracks Kindaichi’s every moment as the latter stalks over to Ukai’s desk. 

“Mail,” Kindaichi explains tersely, handing over a couple of envelopes. Without another word he turns on his heel to leave as suddenly as he came, leaving the scent of his coolly burning anger in his wake. 

As soon as the alpha is out of ear shot Hinata rolls over Kageyama to sit dejectedly on the floor. “This next week is gonna be even harder for me....” he groans, sounding close to tears. 

Kageyama doesn’t quite get it. But Ukai shoots Hinata a deeply sympathetic glance. “It is...” he agrees with a weary sigh. 

“What’s your problem now?” Kageyama asks, poking the beta in the back with the hand he’s not using to rub at his nose. Damn alpha pheromones stinking up the place. 

And to think some betas and omegas get off on alphas dropping pheromone stink bombs whenever they’re overcome with emotion.... Gross. 

It takes a few more insistent jabs to get Hinata to stop sulking long enough to answer the question. But Kageyama just gets a muttered “Kindaichi” back, which just confuses Kageyama more.  

“Then what’s his problem?”

“There’s this oblivious little omega he’s crushing on that doesn’t like him back.” 

Kageyama ahs. A crush...that would explain the past year of Kindaichi’s unpredictable ups and downs. “But what does that have to do with you?” 

The sigh Hinata heaves damn near shakes the studio. “It must be nice to be so unaware,” he says, looking incredibly unimpressed with Kageyama. 

When the omega turns to Ukai for clarification, he finds his coach staring at him with a similar look. Frowning, Kageyama puffs out his cheeks, a pout of epic proportions on the horizon. 

Sensing this, Ukai slips back into Coach(tm) mode. “So,” he gestures expectantly at Kageyama, “Let’s hear what you’re thinkin’ about using for your audition.” 

“Oh. I’m not.......auditioning.....” Kageyama admits, a bit apprehensive. But Kageyama knows if he doesn’t tell the truth the human megaphone he has for a (begrudging) best friend will for him. 

Right on cue, Hinata blurts out “It’s because his mommy told him he couldn’t.” Let it be said that Kageyama is capable of letting things go because instead of suplexing Hinata like he should , he settles with smiling a touch evilly and stepping on the beta’s toes. 

Ukai doesn’t seem upset over Kageyama turning the opportunity down, thank fuck. Nodding thoughtfully, he returns back to his typing. “Mm. But I’m guessing you’re still interested in becoming a teacher for the gremlins next door this summer? And what about all of the college entrance auditions?” He doesn’t wait for the nod he knows is coming. “Well do you think I’d hire you without an audition? Two minutes long at least. Just like the rest of ‘em.” 

Kageyama deflates. That was the main thing he was looking forward to: avoiding the stress that is choreographing a whole routine. But Ukai’s word is law, and he would love that teaching position (even if he’d like to think that he’s guaranteed to get it).

“Yessir,” he says, resigned, slinking off to figure out what fucking song he’s gonna use. 




Xx



Three weeks later Kageyama is being dropped on his head in the entranceway of his house. Literally. 

“I’m in pain....” he calls out weakly, not even bothering to try and get up. “Domestic abuse...”

Hinata nudges Kageyama dismissively with his toe, now clad in the guest slippers specially reserved for him. “Asshole. How about a thank you for dragging your ass all the way home?”

“It’s the least you could do. You and your audition is the reason why I’m so tired in the first place.” Every muscle in his body protests the action, but Kageyama musters enough strength to roll over so that he can better pout accusingly at his friend. 

And because he’s right (for the most part), Hinata’s expression softens into his usual, albeit a bit tired, smile. It’s been a long three weeks for the both of them, and it seems that now with the auditions a week away that it’s all catching up to them. 

Or just catching up to Kageyama, he muses, casting a glance at Hinata out of the corner of his eye as the latter hoists him up by the arms and half carries him up the stairs to his room.

Surely the beta can’t have that much stamina... “Why am I the one that’s exhausted?” Kageyama sulks, “I’m not the one with the life changing audition in a week.”

“You have an audition too, last time I checked. And Ukai’s scarier than any talent scout,” Hinata shivers dramatically.

“Yeah, but I have another three weeks to prepare everything.”

Hinata growls a little, “Don’t rub it in.” They shuffle their way into Kageyama’s room at the end of the hallway; Hinata wasting no time in dumping his precious bundle onto his bed. Neither of them bother to turn on the lights, they’ll be asleep soon enough, and there’s plenty of moonlight glittering through the open blinds to see by.

The moment Kageyama’s head hits his pillow he feels his eyes begin to droop dangerously. It’s been a long few weeks. Three tests, two essays, five pop quizzes, all while juggling hours of dance practice and the Kindaichi finding a way to be an even bigger asshole than before. 

It’s as if he’s hellbent on getting suspended--going as far as to purposefully give Hinata a bloody nose during what was supposed to be a normal game of dodgeball during gym. He had played it off as an “accident”, but the tiny satisfied tilt of his mouth gave away his true intentions. Kageyama had pulled the smug little shit behind the bleachers unnoticed thanks to the chaos that was trying to get Hinata to stop bleeding everyone and go to the nurse’s office. 

Kageyama had tried to give Kindaichi a piece of his mind, but like usual the alpha had clammed up and gotten defensive. Truth be told, Kageyama was just about ready to strangle him. Maybe chop his body up into little pieces and throw them out of a--

At the sight of Kageyama’s evil grin, Hinata freezes, mid-move to climb into Kageyama’s bed. “What’re you lookin’ at me like for? Give me bedroom eyes all you want, I’m not letting you suck my dick. ‘M tired.” 

“Ew. As if I want your dick anywhere near me,” Kageyama wrinkles his nose up in disgust. 

“You say that now, but when it’s mating week and you want someone to get slick all over--” Hinata’s forced to stop speaking to block the errant elbow Kageyama’s aiming towards his face. The beta shrieks in terror, protectively shielding his nose from all oncoming attacks. “Please don’t hurt my beautiful and perfectly proportioned nose! I don’t think it can withstand another nosebleed!”

Kageyama relents, if only to get Hinata to shut up. His mother is sleeping right across the hall after all. “You wouldn’t have to worry about getting your nose broken if you’d just tell that asshole Kindaichi off. Or better yet, give him the fight he’s been begging for.”

“It’s not that simple,” Hinata sighs, soft-hearted as ever. “I’m sure if I tried to confront Kindaichi like you do, he’d actually try to break my neck.” 

Irritation flares up in Kageyama’s belly. Unfortunately, Hinata has a point. And instead of acknowledging that, Kageyama rolls over with a huff so that his back is towards the other and he’s able to stare at the slivers of his neighborhood awash in late evening darkness. 

After a long moment of silence Kageyama blurs out randomly, “How do you stay so calm?” Hinata makes a soft inquisitive noise in response, sounding half asleep already. 

Rolling back over so that they’re face to face, Kageyama asks again. “With Kindaichi and everyone else. How can you stand to be so calm when they’re all so awful to you. Don’t you ever think about....I dunno...slipping laxative in their sports drinks or somethin’?”

Hinata blinks blearily at him. “Whoa, you’re kinda evil, you know that right?”

“I’m not evil. You’re just too soft. Just like a beta.” 

“That’s sexist,” Hinata flicks Kageyama in the forehead, grinning when he scoots away in defense. “But if you must know I’ve never thought about some elaborate revenge fantasy because I’d know it wouldn’t help anything. Once everyone realized I wasn’t gonna retaliate they got bored and left me alone. Things used to be a lot worse, ‘member? Yoko even let me use some of her fancy hand lotion the other day!”

Slowly, the frown eases off of Kageyama’s face. Now that he’s thinking about it-- besides Kindaichi slowly becoming an alpha from hell--everyone else has slowly been losing interest in bothering Hinata. 

It’s hard to believe but... “So killing them with kindness actually worked, huh? Lame,” Kageyama mutters, talking more to himself than anything else. 

“See this is why you’re evil. Are omegas supposed to be nonviolent?”

“Now you’re the one being sexist.”

Hinata’s laugh is cut off by a mighty yawn, one so powerful it shakes his own body and brings tears to his eyes. He stretches a little, nuzzling into a pillow, “Hey you wanna know a secret? ‘S kinda embarrassing...but when you asked me how I stay so calm, well, it’s because--and don’t laugh--but Iwaizumi-san gave some really great advice during a b-live.”

“The idol? Wow you are embarrassing,” Kageyama says mildly. Pouting, Hinata reaches out to flick him in the forehead again, but Kageyama curls up and hikes the comforter up to his chin. It’s a bit hard to maneuver thanks to Hinata laying on top of all of the blankets instead of under them, but he manages to get comfortable. 

“I said don’t laugh!”

“But you never said not to judge.” Kageyama peeks out of his cocoon of blankets, eyes twinkling with mirth. “Iwaizumi’s the VEX’T guy you’re obsessed with right?” 

Obsessed is a strong word. He’s just so cool! And smart! A-and hot! He’s the total package! Totally redefining what it means to be an idol. I’ll never forget, once he got on a live video stream with fans after a concert--you wouldn’t know this, but Iwaizumi was a part of a totally different company before Swordfish. Debuted even in a group that flopped hard and cost the company so much money they went bankrupt.” 

As out of the loop Kageyama is, he can’t help but to be surprised by that. VEX’T has been so big for so long, it’s hard to imagine any of them going through career hardships. “So he left one company and immediately went looking for another? Talk about dedicated...”

Hinata grins, “Right? I told you he was cool. He said that old company was hell too. Management encouraged the trainees to pick fights with one another, and bully whoever they thought was the weakest. Iwaizumi said there was this one guy older than him that everyday would bother him, make him do all of the chores in the dorm, use him as the scapegoat of the group.” 

“And let me guess, he killed ‘em with kindness?” Kageyama’s beginning to put everything together. With such similar experiences, it’s no wonder Hinata looks up to the guy.

“Exactly! Iwaizumi-san knew he couldn’t fight back; they’d have kicked him out of the group if he did. So he said he made sure to be extra nice to the staff and give his all. So when the old company went under, a staff member that left for Swordfish Entertainment remembered him and got him an audition there!” Hinata smiles at him all dopey, eyes already half closed. “See? If good things can come to Iwaizumi-san....good things can come to me.”

“Don’t fall asleep on top of the covers, idiot,” Kageyama chastises, a lot more gently than he ever would if Hinata were totally conscious. 

The sleepy noise Hinata makes is decidedly baby-like (some might call it cute), “You’ll tuck me in.....” he murmurs, still smiling. “Bakageyama, you’re really nice... Jus’ don’t want...anyone to know.”  

And then Hinata finally gives up the good fight and passes out, snoring almost instantly, mouth wide open. This is why Kageyama hates sharing a bed with Hinata. Not only does he drool all over the pillows--or even sometimes Kageyama’s shirt--but his last night ramblings are always so...sappy. 

Kageyama has half a mind to leave Hinata the way he is just to prove a point. But even though it’ll result in some insufferable teasing come the morning, Kageyama gets up with a huff to retrieve a spare blanket out of his closet to haphazardly throw on top of Hinata. 

“See what I mean?” Hinata cracks one eye open, a sleepy, smug smile spreading across his face. “You’re niiiiiice.”

Die. ” And then Kageyama’s leaping onto Hinata, pillow in hand, ready to smother him.




Xx




Kindaichi is staring. 

Kindaichi is staring and it’s driving Kageyama crazy. There’s no mistaking that’s exactly what he’s doing either. Kageyama catches his eye whenever the choreography forces him to turn too quickly or when he takes his eyes off his own reflection. 

Maybe Kindaichi’s bored. The studio has been unusually quiet today. Since the Swordfish Entertainment audition is tomorrow everyone auditioning is gone to get their eyebrows arched and faces exfoliated and toes waxed. (All actual rituals Kageyama’s heard of with his own two ears). 

And those who aren’t auditioning are off with someone who is. Ukai seems to have expected this and basically declared today a free-for-all. Even the junior class is taking the day off after challenging Takeda-san to see who could do the most pirouettes without getting dizzy. 

Kageyama has no idea why Takeda even bet something as coveted as a day to watch Youtube videos and goof off, especially knowing that some of the kids are part Beyblade. Any other day Kageyama would be over on the kids’ side letting them use him as a human jungle gym, but he really has to perfect his routine for the Tokyo School of Arts entrance exams now that he knows that only the top five dance students can get free ride scholarships. 

His grades are...average, above average if he tries, but there’s no way he can compare to any of the people who start studying before midterms actually start. Kageyama needs a dance scholarship. Easier said than done, competition is fierce every year and--

Kageyama’s train of thought, and feet, stall as he makes unwanted eye contact in the mirror with Kindaichi again. He stumbles so hard on the complicated footwork that he nearly falls, and Kageyama promptly decides he’s had enough. 

Routine forgotten, Kageyama stomps over to where Kindaichi is still standing, duffel bag at his feet, not stopping until he’s right in his face. 

What?”

“Huh?” Kindaichi actually has the nerve to look surprised at being accosted. As if Kageyama wouldn’t notice him standing there for fifteen uninterrupted minutes. 

“You’ve been staring,” Kageyama elaborates, eyes narrowing. “And I wanna know why. If you’re trying to pick a fight can you--”

“I’m not!” the alpha blurts out, looking vaguely panicked. “It’s just...your dancing…” He trails off with a mumble, cheeks turning an alarming shade of pink. (He’s blushing. Kindaichi is blushing!) Kageyama just taps his foot impatiently. “It was, uh, beautiful.”

To say Kageyama’s jaw drops is a gross understatement. He nearly chokes on nothing, eyes going all wide and round. 

That was…a compliment. A real, genuine, not double-sided compliment. From Kindaichi   “Who are you and what have you done with Kindaichi?” Kageyama asks, stepping back cautiously and walking around the other, observing him from all angles in search for evidence of alien abduction. Or maybe he’s being possessed by some nice ghost?

Adding to the mystery, Kindaichi doesn’t get mad and snap at him. He just continues to stand there, blushing steadily and letting Kageyama make a show out of examining him from head to toe. Kageyama comes back around to where he started, crouching down low so he can observe the test subject from a new vantage point. 

By now Kindaichi is so red it’s a miracle he’s still standing. “S-shut up... There’s nothing wrong with me.”

“You sure? It could be heat stroke. Ukai does keep the studio way too hot.”

“How can you tell?” Kindaichi grumbles, gesturing to the long length of Kageyama’s arms and legs exposed by his shorts and loose, sleeveless tank top. It’s only March but Japan is already hitting summer-level temperatures; Kageyama is only dressing appropriately. 

The statement makes Kageyama laugh--just a little. “The world really must be ending...Kindachi told a joke. I’m proud. Anyways--” Kageyama catches Kindaichi’s eyes, intentionally this time. “Thank you. For the compliment.”

Kindaichi’s blush returns in full force, and he has to break eye contact to glare at his sneakers moodily. Kageyama assumes this is the end of their (very strange) conversation, but Kindaichi seems to be full of surprises today.

“Are you uhhh….are you coming to eat with the team today?” 

“Yeah….? I’d never pass up an opportunity to eat on someone else’s dime.”

“Ok,” Kindaichi says softly. It’s hard to tell but from his angle on the floor Kageyama swears he can make out a smile on Kindaichi’s face. Before he can make sure it’s not a trick of the light, Kindaichi is scooping up his things and hightailing it into another studio, leaving Kageyama staring at his own confused reflection in the mirror.

Weird…. very, very weird…



Xx



Tradition states that whenever Ukai wants to treat the team to food for a special occasion they all go to this family-run restaurant halfway across town. Shochuu 1983 is only three minutes away from a bus stop and has some of the best food Kageyama’s ever eaten. 

It is without a doubt his favorite restaurant. He may be a bit biased because that’s the restaurant owned by his best friend’s parents, but even before he became acquainted with the prince of Shochuu, Kageyama was very fond of the place.

Kageyama fully believes it’d be the hottest eating spot for locals and tourists both if Shochuu weren’t situated deep in one of the older shopping district, too close to the newer, fancier mall close by to escape its monopoly on the area, but also too far away to benefit from the thousands of people coming and going everyday. 

Still, the neighborhood is lively in its own way as Kageyama steps off the bus behind the usual team dinner crowd (plus Kindaichi, who normally never comes with). Sounds of grannies tending their stores and local kids hanging around trying to decide what games to play before night falls fully fill the air. 

The short walk around the corner to Shochuu is twice as long for Kageyama. He’s recognized by most of the neighbors; he’s been hanging around the area with Hinata for years now. The auntie that runs the convenience store a few doors down stops him as usual to ask about school, his mom, where his “other half” is. 

As intrusive as the questions can be, Kageyama can’t help but to feel as though he’s got a huge extended family a la Shoyo. Which is a thought way too sappy to ever say out loud. (Hinata’s annoying as is, doubly so when he makes that ugly squee face and makes a big show out of Kageyama saying anything even remotely nice to him.)

It suddenly hits Kageyama, as he pushes open the heavy wood door of the restaurant to step into the tantalizing smells of meat and veggies sizzling on the grill, that Hinata’s face of glee must be hereditary because it’s the same face his mother makes when she looks up at the sound of the door bell jingling.   

Sakiko-san’s gasp of delight makes Kageyama grin. “Tobio-chan!” she calls out across the room. “I thought you were with Shou and Sugawara-kun!”

“I offered to go with them and help with everything, but he told me I’d be useless to help with fashion since I only wear gym clothes,” Kageyama grumps, weaving through the--woefully empty--tables.

Let it be noted that Sakiko-san doesn’t even come to his defense, just wraps Kageyama in a big bear hug, squeezing his waist affectionately with a laugh. “Well, he’ll be home soon, and in the meantime let’s get you and the team fed!” Still smiling, she turns Kageyama around before steering him towards their usual set of tables.

“Can I have--”

“Curry with a hardboiled egg. I got it. I got it. That’s not the special today, but anything for my favorite customer. Who also part-times. Who also babysits.”

“Which child?” Kageyama jokes. “Hinata or Natsu?”

“I meant Natsu. Oh speaking of…” Abruptly Sakiko-san turns towards the stairs that lead towards the above living area, cups her mouth and yells. “NATSU!!! YOUR FAVORITE BABYSITTER IS HERE!”

There’s a loud thump from above, then there’s the sound of tiny footsteps thundering down the stairs, sounding more like a stampede in the Sarengeti than a single six year old. Natsu’s just a tiny orange blur as she comes barrelling into the room, not stopping until she’s collided with Kageyama’s legs. 

“Natsu what have we told you about running down the stairs?” 

“Sorry mom,” Natsu says, totally unrepentant..  She’s too busy clinging to Kageyama like a hungry barnicle (like sister like brother), beaming up at him. “To-chan! Are you here to play with me? Shou-chan won’t let me give him makeovers anymore!”

Last time Kageyama was at the mercy of Natsu’s stash of gifted--and pilfered--makeup products he ended up looking like a Kabuki actor that got ready in the dark….and with their hands tied behind their backs. 

But he can’t but melt at the sight of Natsu’s toothy grin and wide, hopeful eyes. “Of course,” he says, ruffling her hair. 

Her cheers of victory are cut short by Sakiko-chan pushing them gently towards the large table towards the center of the room where the rest of the team are already sitting. “Yeah, yeah. You can play with your beloved To-chan later. It’s dinner time now.”

“Yes mom,” Kageyama and Natsu say at the same time, like well trained soldiers jumping at a command. Kageyama walks--waddles-- with Natsu still attached to his legs towards their usual table. He’s not pleased to see that the open seat at the end will put him directly across from Kindaichi.

Call Kageyama paranoid, but he’s seriously getting weirded out by the whole nice Kindaichi thing. Kindaichi even sat near him on the bus and willingly engaged him in conversation about their upcoming chemistry test. By then Kageyama was sure the other was being blackmailed by Ukai, but a quick chat with the coach debunked that theory. And the idea that this is all genuine is even scarier.

Kageyama has half the mind to hightail to the kitchen, but if he did Yuka-san will probably put him to work washing dishes. She takes her place as kitchen manager and only cool headed member of the Hinata family seriously. And when Hinata Yuka puts you to work, it doesn’t end until she’s satisfied or you’re incapaciatated. 

On second thought he’ll take his chances with Kindaichi. The alpha in question looks up with a smile that’s bordering on a grimace (Kageyama’s beginning to learn that’s just how Kindaichi is though). His smile becomes an actual grimace though when Natsu’s little head appears, bobbing about in excitement and demanding to be hoisted into Kageyama’s lap.  

Everyone knows Natsu is getting too big to constantly be sitting on them, but she’s still way too cute to deny. So Kageyama wastes no time in leaning over to heft her up gently by the sides. As he does several things happen.  

First, there’s a loud thud across the table followed by loud peals of laughter from what sounds to be Kunimi. Second, a very familiar hand appears out of nowhere to tug up the loose neck of Kageyama’s shirt. 

Natsu and Kageyama look over their shoulders to find Hinata standing right behind them, hair cut neatly and looking more than a little irritated. His gaze lands on Kindaichi, who is red faced and clutching at his knee as if in pain.  “Can you not flash the whole world--or better yet wear a real shirt?” he tells Kageyama.

Frowning, Kageyama glances down at his chest, back up to Hinata. “It’s not like I have anything to flash.”

Hinata mutters something under his breath, turning away from Kageyama to glare at Kindaichi again. Weird. Everyone’s acting weird today. Kunimi just continues to laugh and laugh at it all. 

“Your big bro is acting weird today Nacchan,” Kageyama whispers conspiratorially to Natsu--taking extreme care to stop his chest from showing this time when he leans over to speak to her. 

“He’s always weird,” Natsu says matter-of-factly, tiny arms wrapped around Kageyama’s neck. “But he looks pretty! Shou-chan! I want a haircut too!”

“You can’t,” Hinata says, settling into the chair next to them. He sticks his tongue out at Natsu for good measure.

“Why not?”

“Because I said so.”

Kageyama sighs, sitting back as the siblings argue. Maybe being an only child isn’t that bad after all…



Xx



“So.” Kageyama passes Hinata a lathered dish to be rinsed off. They’re washing the last of the dishes in the large, always tidy kitchen. It’s late; the dining area has been long cleared out and everyone else is already upstairs getting ready for the next day. The two of them have volunteered to do dishes in order to have some time to talk without Natsu demanding to be included.

He finishes his thought with another passed plate, “Do you feel... ready for tomorrow. Did the haircut fix your chakras and unclog your pores?”

“Kageyama. Stop it. You’re so funny I’m splitting my sides.” Hinata deadpans, taking the dish and rinsing it off, purposefully angling the plate so that some of the water bounces off to spray on Kageyama. “But I guess I feel prepared...Sugawara-san said all I needed was to update my look and I’ll have the final boost of confidence I needed. Let’s hope he’s right.”

“Hm. It might be working. You were brave enough to give Kindaichi the evil eye half the night,” Kageyama muses, with a smile. “Even had him scared of you, I think. Finally the betas are rising up.”

Hinata gives Kageyama a Look normally reserved for when people confuse a brisé with brisé volé. Like Kageyama is missing something he should’ve figured out years ago.

Kageyama narrows his eyes suspiciously. “What?”

“I was glaring at him because I caught him practically salivating and staring down your shirt.” When the taller continues to stare blankly, Hinata sighs, dropping the hose back into the sink. “Kageyama. Do you know why Kindaichi has been out to get me for so long?”

“Because you threw up on his shoes that one time before a recital?”

The sigh Hinata lets out this time sounds painful, shoulders slumping with the exhalation. “No, you idiot. Kindaichi has been in love with you probably since the day he set foot in the studio--” Kageyama makes a horrified, gurgling noise. But Hinata presses on, not even looking at him. “And he’s hated me ever since my mom let slip that we share a bed when you sleep over.”

Kageyama flounders like a fish for something, anything to say. He can feel heat creeping up his neck in mortification. 

Finally Hinata turns to look up at him. “You seriously didn’t know? Really?”

“I-- He--Kindaichi hates me!”

“He ‘hates’ you because he’s a boy. He’s stupid and since he can’t outright says that he wants to fuck you he settles with being aggressive.” Hinata goes as far as to do the sarcastic air quotes around hate. 

Maybe that haircut changed the very fabric of Hinata’s being. Where is this sass coming from? 

To Kageyama’s dismay, Hinata isn’t done. “Do you think he’d stare at you as much as he does if he really hated you?  Today he spent half of dinner staring at your chest, hoping you’d lean over again. And when we’re at dance practice he’s staring at your thighs. And when we’re stretching he’s staring at your ass. We all know how he feels about you. Except you .”

Halfway into Hinata’s spiel Kageyama is overcome by his embarrassment. He crouches right there in the kitchen, hiding his bright red face in his knees like some sort of human armadillo. It’s a small comfort when Hinata places a soothing hand on the back of his neck. Touch cool against the burning skin.  

“It just doesn’t make sense,” Kageyama denies. “Why me?” Today Kindaichi and Kageyama have shared more non-hostile words between each other than they have in nearly a year. And Kageyama is supposed to believe Kindaichi is in love with him?

Above him, Hinata makes a frustrated noise. “Why? Tobio you’re hot. What other reason does anyone need? You’re probably some kind of sexy challenge to Kindaichi.”

Kageyama just curls up tighter within himself. “Shut up, Shouyou. I’m not...”

Hinata does not shut up. He does the opposite: laughing at his friend’s agony, “Are you really embarrassed right now? I’ve literally had my dick in you before, but you get embarrassed by being called sexy?”

The jeering lasts until Kageyama peeks up from his limbs to give Hinata the fiercest glare he can manage with so much awkward energy rolling off of him.  

“Fine,” Hinata says, stifling his laughter. He holds out a hand to help Kageyama up. “I won’t say anything else, but just know I told you so.” 

Still pouting, Kageyama takes the proffered hand and allows himself to be lead upstairs into the Hinata family living area where the two of them fall into their usual song and dance. Hinata showers first--it is his house after all--and has the habit of falling asleep fully clothed because he made the mistake of letting Kageyama bathe first. 

While Hinata’s in the bathroom, Kageyama scavenges for clothes left from weeks before to wear to bed and sets out the futon. They always share one, a testament to their closeness because it doesn’t even feel weird or even vaguely sexual. It’s just a way to save effort and combine body heat.

Kageyama’s surprised when he tiptoes back into Hinata’s room after his bath to find the beta still awake. Normally he’s long asleep before Kageyama has even put on his nightly moisturizer. He doesn’t think much of it, just climbs into the futon and mumbles a goodnight. 

He closes his eyes, letting the comforting hum of the industrial fridge downstairs lull him to sleep. That is until Hinata starts moving around, shifting positions every few minutes. There’s barely enough space for the two of them to sleep comfortably (Kageyama has woken up to find that he’s rolled fully out of the futon more than once), and there’s definitely not enough space for Hinata to toss and turn like he is. 

Let it be known that Kageyama is understanding. He doesn’t snap the first time he gets a bony knee in the side, or the third time, or the seventh time. Kageyama understands that tomorrow is a big day for his friend. Of course he would be nervous. He’ll settle down eventually.

Kageyama manages to keep his temper in check for five whole minutes. But after the eleventh fucking time he gets jostled around he snaps. “Hinata Shöyö. What is your problem?” Kageyama growls, sitting up and glaring down at Hinata as best as he can through the darkness. 

Hinata shrinks into his pillows sheepishly, “I can’t sleep.... I try to close my eyes but then my brain starts thinking about everything that could go wrong tomorrow. What if I leave the house in my underwear? Or--or what if I throw up on the judges?” He gasps, eyes wide with abject horror. “Even worse. What if I forget my choreo and embarrass myself and ruin Ukai’s reputation and the studio is shut down forever because of me?”

“Do you really think either of your moms would let you leave the house in just your dirty, holey underwear?” Kageyama scoffs. “And you’ve never forgotten choreo a day in your life. Even that time you were half-asleep and you had the flu.” 

“I guess you have a point…” Hinata mumbles, looking marginally less constipated. But only marginally, and Kageyama isn’t really in the mood to talk in circles all night. 

So without further ado he promptly rips the comforter out of Hinata’s clutches. 

“Hey! What are you doing?” Hinata whisper-yells as Kageyama wastes no time straddling the shorter’s legs. 

Kageyama is blase as he yanks at the waistband of Hinata’s sleep shorts. “I’m gonna suck you off. You always get floppy after sex.”

“Is this really the time for this?”

“I’m helping,” Kageyama insists, with a pout. He sits back on his legs to regard Hinata seriously. “Are you saying you don’t want to?”

Tempted, Hinata’s eyes drop down to Kageyama’s lips. “Fine,” he flops back onto the futon, relinquishing control to Kageyama. “I don’t think it’ll work, but if you’re that desperate to have a dick in your mouth I volunteer.”

“Don’t talk as if you’re doing me a favor. You’ll enjoy it.” Kageyama grins. 

And with that Kageyama gets to work. He doesn’t bother to tease, settling comfortably between Hinata’s thighs, pulling down his shorts and underwear just enough to free his dick. “Hello Hinata Junior!”

“Ugh, don’t don’t call my dick that--woah!” Hinata nearly knees Kageyama in the face when the latter immediately deepthroats him, wasting no time settling into a wet and sloppy rhythm. 

“Donw’t wmanna,” Kageyama hums, his full mouth making his words nearly impossible to make out. Then again Kageyama talks with his mouth full frequently enough for Hinata to be somewhat fluent in Dick-in-the-mouth-speak. 

Hinata yanks on Kageyama’s hair in retaliation, shuddering when the other moans at the pleasant flash of pain. “And stop talking with your mouth full.”

“Donw’t wmanna.” But it doesn’t take Kageyama long to really get into, giving up on obstinancy for the sake of obstinancy. He’s focused on making Hinata cum as fast as possible, suppressing his gag reflex so that the beta is fucking his throat in earnest.  

Thanks to months of practice, Kageyama knows Hinata likes his blowjobs as messy as possible. So Kageyama doesn’t bother to try to swallow the mixture of saliva and precum instead letting it drip down his chin and all over the fingers he’s got curled around Hinata’s dick. 

Between the desperate edge to the hands pulling at his hair and the tremors of Hinata’s thighs beneath him, Kageyama knows they’re at the beginning of the end. 

With that in mind he pulls off Hinata’s dick completely, making sure to drag the flat of his tongue across the shaft as he does, until his mouth comes free with a lewd pop. Kageyama pauses, glancing up at the beta through his lashes. Eye contact: the ultimate turn on. 

Hinata’s eyes flutter open and they lock eyes, the moment charged with arousal. That’s when Kageyama leans in to suck the tip back into his mouth, his tongue lavishing extra special attention to the slit. 

The combination of all the sensations: Kageyama’s mouth on him, Kageyama’s scent thick in the air, and Kageyama staring up at him all wanton, is too much. And with a noise muffled behind his own hand Hinata’s cumming into Kageyama’s awaiting mouth. 

Kageyama sits back on his legs, face flushed, hair a mess, and Hinata’s cum thick on his tongue. The beta wipes up a stray bit of it away with his thumb, offering it to Kageyama who diligently sucks it clean, never breaking eye contact.  

Hinata makes a sleepy, annoyed noise, already boneless from his orgasm. “And you don’t think you’re sexy. Stupid Bakageyama.”

Then while Kageyama still sitting between his legs, Hinata closes his eyes and falls asleep. Just like that.  

“I know I’m good ‘nd all,” Kageyama grumbles, beginning to clean both himself and Hinata up. “But you could at least put your dick away before passing out.”

All he gets in response is a snore. 



Xx




No good deed goes unpunished it seems, because it’s still too fucking early when Kageyama is forced awake, forced to dress, then forced into Sugawara’s modest four seater. “Why are we up so early?” Kageyama complains around a yawn, stretched out in the backseat as they wait for Hinata.

He can hear Sugawara laugh softly behind the wheel. “Well, if we started any later auditions wouldn’t end until 1 in the morning. There’s gonna be at least a hundred hopefuls coming today.”

Kageyama’s eyes pop open. “That many people audition? Seriously?” He knew Swordfish was a big agency, but he really underestimated their scope. Despite himself, Kageyama starts to wonder for Hinata’s chances. 

Before he can fall down the rabbit hole of negativity he’s used to pulling Hinata out of, the topic of conversation himself comes barreling to the car. Sugawara gives the beta a good once over as he hops into the passenger seat and gives a very meaningful whistle of appreciation. 

“Stylish. Dressing the part. I like it.”

Curious, Kageyama sits up so he can look around the seat to inspect his friend. It’s nothing much honestly, just oversized layered shirts paired with jeans, but it’s a step up considering Hinata would wear sweatpants to a wedding.

“Can the two of you stop checking me out so we can go? ” Hinata says, flushing a little from all the attention. 

Sugawara laughs again as he starts up the car, “His Highness would like to get on the road. Everyone buckle up!” Kageyama makes to lay back down, but Sugawara gives him a stern look (but he’s still smiling--how does he do that?) through the rearview window. “Kageyama do not lay down in this car! It’s unsafe!”

“It’s like I have a fourth  mom now,” Kageyama grumbles to himself. 

“What was that?”

“N-nothing!” Kageyama sits up right, buckling in and making sure to kick Hinata’s seat in retaliation for his laughter. 

The drive downtown is rather uneventful. Sugawara sings along to the radio, Hinata’s busy practicing Lamaze breathing, and Kageyama takes the time to watch the scenery change from small boring little houses to high end apartments and shops then to sleek, multi-storied corporation buildings. 

This is a side of town neither Hinata nor Kageyama have much business going to, so when Sugawara pulls into one of the few parking spots labelled “Assistant Manager” the two of them can’t help but to stare up at the imposing Swordfish Entertainment building with wonder. 

And if they thought the exterior was something to gawk at, it’s nothing compared to inside. Sugawara leads them to the main entrance where serious looking security guards check them all for weapons or cameras. Apparently auditions are the best time for overzealous fans or stalkers to try to infiltrate the building in hopes of seeing a celebrity, so they have to take extra measures to keep the weirdos out. 

They make it through security without a problem, and Sugawara, now with an employee badge hanging around his neck, leads them to a large waiting room already full of similar hopefuls. On their way they get tagged with a number and a name tag. Kageyama tries to refuse a number--he’s really only here for moral support--but a frazzled looking employee is already handing him a number before he can protest. 

Sugawara shrugs at him, “Don’t worry about it. They’ll figure out their mistake later.”

The waiting area they finally end up in is another pure white room with floor to ceiling windows along one wall. Expensive, backless chairs and ottomans are scattered throughout the space, all occupied with people. Those who aren’t sitting are stretching, going over dance steps, or just pacing nervously. 

No matter what they’re doing, everyone seems to be flicking glances at the large set of double doors that must lead to the auditorium space where the actual auditioning takes place. By now , Hinata’s positively turning white with nerves. His hands shake a bit as he fiddles with his name tag, eyes darting around the room.

“I think I’m gonna throw up,” he says casually, as if he’s talking about the weather before taking off to find a bathroom. 

“Down the hall! Second door on the right!” Sugawara calls after him. As Hinata power walks out of sight, Sugawara turns concerned eyes on Kageyama. “Is he gonna be alright?”

“He’ll be fine,” Kageyama makes his way over to a relatively secluded part of the room, Sugawara in tow, standing a respectable distance away from the lone person sitting on the floor with their hoodie pulled tight around them.  “Hinata’s never backs down from anything. He just needs some time to pray to his Iwaizumi photocard he keeps in his phone case.”

That has Sugawara snorting, quickly covering his mouth to stifle the noise. “He--ah. He likes Iwaizumi-san that much, huh? I would’ve pegged him as a Bokuto fan myself. But that’s the power of idols! Being a beacon of hope for the public.”

“Sounds like a pain i…” Kageyama thinks back on all of the drama and devastation whether an idol is exposed to be dating or saying the wrong thing in an interview. Once an idol nearly had her career ended when she didn’t know the name of a Japanese emperor on a variety show. All that pressure is something Kageyama can do without. 

Sugawara bumps Kageyama playfully, knocking him out of his thoughts. “Is that why you didn’t wanna audition, Kageyama-kun? Don’t wanna deal with the responsibilities of an idol?”

“You could say that… Feels like it would be more effort than it’s worth. You can’t date, you can’t smoke, you can’t breathe, all for a couple of four-minute performances a year. I--”

“--Oh please. What the hell do you know?”

“Excuse me?” Kageyama asks, a dangerous edge to his voice as he turns to the unwanted newcomer to the conversation. It’s the hoodie guy, no longer playing on his phone impassively but instead glaring up at Kageyama with a disdain out of place for them to be strangers.

Kageyama gets a good look at the guy, and his irritation fucking triples when he realizes the guy is hot. Dark eyes, long lashes, plush lips. Classically handsome features framed by soft looking brown hair. And when he stands up, standing closer he even has a couple of centimeters on Kageyama. 

The smidgen of attraction Kageyama feels evaporates once he gets a whiff of the guy as he steps closer. An alpha. Well, that explains everything. 

Just as Kageyama’s gearing up to give this rude, hot motherfucker a piece of his mind, Sugawara comes to stand beside him. His eyes are alight with recognition, “Oikawa-kun? What are you doing here?”

“You know this guy?”

“He’s a trainee here actually! I’ve known him for quite some time,” Sugawara is trying his best to dissipate the tense energy, but this Oikawa doesn’t look ready to back down any time soon. 

A hunch, proven to be fact when Oikawa says, “I was here to see if we’d be getting any worthwhile talent this year…” He gives Kageyama a shady little side glance. “But it looks like it’s another year of whiny pretty boys unwilling to put in the work.”

People are starting to glance their way nervously, no doubt sensing the aggressive pheromones   in the air. Kageyama doesn’t care that he’s halfway to making a scene. And he doesn’t care that stepping up into Oikawa’s face is most definitely proposing a Challenge. 

“Don’t even bother to audition,” Oikawa tells Kageyama, voice low and eyes flashing with power. “The only thing your type is good at is being pretty. You wouldn’t last a day as a trainee, let alone a year. Not that anyone in that audition room would pick you in the first place.”

Kageyama feels like he’s on the verge of making an incredibly stupid decision. He knows there are a million and one reasons why he shouldn’t take the bait. This Oikawa, whoever he is, is just some woefully hot asshole that Kageyama will never see again after today.

He knows this, yet in the moment Kageyama Tobio doesn’t give a flying fuck. “I’ll make you eat those words,” he tells Oikawa with a sunny smile. Then he turns his back on the alpha--a clear sign of disrespect. “Sugawara-san.”

“Yes?” Sugawara looks from him to Oikawa nervously. 

“I’ve changed my mind. I do want to audition.”